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Why is there (almost) no variety to the Hebrew accent in Israel?

English has been spoken in New York for hundreds of years while Hebrew was only revitalized in the late 19th century. The British Isles are said to have more varieties of English than the rest of the ...
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29 votes

Why is there (almost) no variety to the Hebrew accent in Israel?

You’re right that there is very little regional variation in Modern Hebrew accents (though there are a few street market and schoolyard slang differences). Israel is a small, well-connected country ...
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18 votes
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Did Eureka lose its H?

Indeed, the Ancient Greek word εὕρηκα would be transcribed heurēka, with an H. The mark that looks like an apostrophe (the "rough breathing" or "spiritus asper") indicates the H ...
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16 votes

Native English speakers: worse understanding of other accents?

The first thing to consider is that this is a comedy show, and Lily Tomlin is a comedian. The second is that US speakers of English don't have a lot of exposure to UK accents, especially those most-...
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13 votes

Why is there (almost) no variety to the Hebrew accent in Israel?

Also note that most of the growth of Israely Hebrew follows the invention of the radio and telephone. Radio and television are believed to be major harminizors of accents.
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13 votes

Native English speakers: worse understanding of other accents?

Lily Thomlin is a comedian. She's playing the supposed difficulty of understanding the accents as a joke. If you pay attention, she laughs quite appropriately to the jokes the others make. When ...
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12 votes
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Why is the English phoneme /θ/ pronounced like /t/ in Indian accents but /s/ in Chinese accents?

Here's a paper that's addressed a similar phenomenon of the different realizations of /θ/ between Cantonese and Sichuanese speakers, both of which are dialects of Chinese and share similar phonetic ...
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11 votes
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IPA for English: British or US standard?

IPA can be used to render any dialect or accent you like. (Here's an example where IPA is used to show differences between two dialects of English.) It can be used in a narrow way, transcribing more ...
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9 votes

What is the difference between Silesian Polish and neutral/standard Polish?

Native Polish born in Upper Silesia here. Here is my answer: When a native Silesian of older generation (say, 60+) speaks standard Polish, he/she has a strong regional accent which includes following ...
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9 votes

Why is the English phoneme /θ/ pronounced like /t/ in Indian accents but /s/ in Chinese accents?

This is a great question without a clear answer. People have struggled to find the answer since the 1970s: Here is my 2002 paper with many references listed in Appendix A. See also my dissertation ...
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8 votes
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Why are two versions of a word written in the same IPA pronounced differently?

The main reason is that you're looking at phonemic rather than phonetic transcriptions. IPA can be used for both; the way you usually distinguish is that you use slashes for phonemes, brackets for ...
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8 votes
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Do stressed (in e.g. English) or pitched (in e.g. Japanese) phones contribute to different phonemes?

Whether we call something a "phoneme" or not depends on the kind of theory and analysis. It’s just an arbitrary tool of description. Some linguists will lump together tones and vowels/consonants as "...
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8 votes

AmE feature related to American multiculturalism?

As a literal and general claim, I doubt the accuracy of that statement for any native speaker (words like family, camera, potato, supposed contain syllables that are frequently subject to elision in ...
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7 votes
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We have constructed languages, but are there constructed accents?

Most famous is probably Nadsat, created by Anthony Burgess for the novel "A clockwork orange". There is also a common artificial argot used in English literature spoken by uneducated people or ...
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6 votes
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The verb BE as function word or content word

In traditional grammar the verb BE was considered as a main verb (or lexical verb) when used on its own in a sentence. It was only considered an auxiliary when it was used as part of a passive ...
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6 votes

We have constructed languages, but are there constructed accents?

I think, the accent with which the narrator speaks in Frank Zappa's rock opera "Thing-Fish" is an example of a constructed English accent/dialect. Correct me, if I'm wrong, and that's a real dialect ...
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6 votes

If someone grows up bilingually, with what accent will they speak a third language they learn as an adult?

As the other poster indicated, accent is the application of native phonology to another language. However, if someone grows up speaking two languages, they will necessarily have less of an accent than ...
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6 votes

Minimal Pairs Highlighting the Difference between American and British English

The problem is that "minimal pair" refers to two distinct words in one language signified by the choice of one vs. another sound. So minimal pairs are not what you want. You want a list of "same word"...
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6 votes

How is it possible to reconstruct old accents of a language?

Oftentimes we have documents that talk about how things were pronounced, especially when they criticize people for how they talk (the Romans were rather famous for that). Texts like poems are also ...
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6 votes
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Conflation of language dialects and phonology

There are a number of speech-form clusters in the world, that is, genetically related languages which are so structurally similar that they are said to be "dialects" of a language – e.g. Saami, Shona, ...
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6 votes

Why do Americans and Canadians pronounce "t" with flap [ɾ] in unstressed syllables in English?

This is a common phonological process called "lenition", from the Latin for "weakening". There are various causes posited for this, but the simplest can be summarized as language speakers are lazy: ...
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6 votes

How to remove an accent from a language (and what an accent actually is)

This will all make more sense if we replace accent, which is a relative term used mostly by non-linguists, with pronunciation. if there is such thing as "speaking a language without an accent" No, ...
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5 votes
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What gives rise to racial accents? (timbre)

There are several elements to this issue: Your ability to identify ethnicity is much more likely to be a result of perceiving cultural styles of speaking than anything physiological. You would most ...
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5 votes

We have constructed languages, but are there constructed accents?

In a sense, the national language standards of all languages could be said to be 'constructed' (to different degrees). They tend to be more artificial than other dialects and accents, and their ...
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5 votes
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Do sign languages have "accents" like verbal languages?

If we define 'accent' to mean a distinctive manner of expressing language characteristic of a particular group(s) then I would say that the answer to your question is yes. All that would be required ...
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5 votes

Are there common traits of foreign accents across languages?

I don't know of research, or whether the following is true, but phonological alternations might be due to phonological processes in the speech of native speakers, but due instead to phonological rules ...
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5 votes

Why do Americans and Canadians pronounce "t" with flap [ɾ] in unstressed syllables in English?

The explanation for flapping, which takes place between vowels within the stress foot, has to do with the general phonetic timing of English segments, and it is a consequence of factors that shorten /...
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5 votes
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How to remove an accent from a language (and what an accent actually is)

Accents, in this sense, are the result of there being dialects of languages, where the rules of pronunciation differ, depending on the dialect. People say that you have an accent, when your ...
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5 votes
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proper terms for tipper and dipper S articulation

The technical terms in articulatory phonetics for "tipper" and "dipper" are apical and laminal. They are both voiceless alveolar fricatives (IPA: [s]), but since "alveolar" only describes the passive ...
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  • 4,762
5 votes

How do accents of a whole town drift?

This does indeed happen! It tends to follow the same processes that make whole languages change over time. Just on a smaller scale: smaller area, smaller changes, smaller timespans. (Intuitive example:...
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